On our recent trip to Bali we made a few treks to Kuta, for shopping, sight seeing and the food. Having never been to Bali, let alone Kuta, I was a little overwhelmed. If I’m honest, Kuta isn’t somewhere I’d rush back to, if and when we head back to Bali. In saying that though, I think our spur-of-the-moment lunch stop at the Seafood House was pure genius. It was one of those restaurant experiences that you only experience a few times in your lives and it’s one that I’ll always remember. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t flash, it didn’t have Indonesians fire dancing, it didn’t have gourmet cuisine. It had damn good Cantonese cooking, and staff who knew what was good and weren’t afraid to say so, and my lovely family to share it all
This is my dad, Col. He had the confusing task of checking all the seafood options out and choosing the live fish/crustacean we were going to order. The prices weren’t too bad and the staff (below) were all too happy to talk us through the difference in prices and what was good and not so good. He’s weighing one of his choices here. They charge per kilo of seafood and you choose from the very expansive menu how you’d like it cooked. It’s guaranteed to be as fresh as fresh can be this way. I think this entire meal cost 1.5 million, which worked out to be $35 per head including drinks. Spectacular price for the fantastic seafood we got.
This is one of the shots of inside the restaurant. The place was huge, and we only saw about a quarter of it. It was deliciously air conditioned, and the only reason why we chose this place rather than the same type of seafood restaurant directly across the road, was because the seafood tanks were out of the direct sun and it had a cooler feel to it. Our waiter, Souraiya, was extremely friendly and knew the menu back to front. Which was a boon, the menu was massive and we would’ve sat there for hours had we had to make the decisions ourselves. The only thing he didn’t suggest was the salt and pepper prawns that I chose. Sourayia told us all about his brother who was a chef on a cruise line, and that he hated cooking and only ate noodles at home. But he certainly knew what was good to eat here. The first entrée we shared was prawn spring roll with skin bean curd.
As you can see from the photo its pure prawn meat and little else, other than the thin bean curd ribbons throughout. Simply the best spring rolls I’ve ever eaten. They were soft, but steaming hot, fresh prawn meat, dipped in a firey Siracha sauce, sublime. His second recommendation for entrée was steamed Chinese dumplings with red vinegar sauce. These turned out to be prawn and mushroom.
They were seriously good dumplings, full of fresh prawn meat and mushrooms, juicy and crispy on the bottom. And the red vinegar is a thing a beauty. Dad tried to recreate it when we got home with his very first try of pot sticker dumplings, and it was a grand try, but something was amiss. Probably the fact that we were eating them in Kambah, not Kuta.
Our first main to share was a grouper. Dad wanted to choose the yellow grouper, but the guy politely suggested the normal grouper as it was fresher, cheaper and tasted better. In his opinion. Suggestion accepted. Who are we not to go with the cheaper option!
Sourayia suggested the whole fish steamed with a ginger sand. It sounded very appealing.
And, by God, was it appealing. I have to say, it aint the prettiest fish I’ve seen on a dish, but the taste was gorgeous. I don’t know what the chefs were doing in the kitchen to come up with a dish that is basically crushed ginger and other bits and pieces, but it was a real treat. There wasn’t that usual burn you get from very freshly grated ginger, it was mellow and sweet, and mixed with garlic and soy and some sort of citrus that I can’t quite put my finger on. Coriander roots, sweetness from sugar no doubt, and a slight kick from some red chilli. Fantastic. This would make me cook whole fish if I could be bothered.
All that was left 😦 Lucky we ordered rice as we just poured off the juices onto our plates to ensure none of the deliciousness went back to the kitchen.
The main I chose was these prehistoric looking beasts, Mantis Prawns, salt and pepper style. I’ve never heard of, let alone eaten a Mantis prawn, you?
Not your typical style of salt and pepper prawn, this dish was crunchy, salty, tangy, peppery with a little hit from the chives. The prawns were juicy and tasty, perfect for sucking the flavour right outta that shell.
We each had little pink scissors with which to cut up our prawns. The best part? Licking our fingers and scooping up all extra seasoning with rice. Yum-mo.
This is the little sucker before he was deep fried. Our waiter told us that a kitchen hand had recently sliced off one of his fingers not being too careful as he prepped one of these Matnis prawns. This is why they’re all in water bottles in the tanks, they fight to the death.
The furniture in the restaurant was lovely, big heavy chunky wood tables and chairs, gave it an edgy groovy feel. It didn’t feel like a typical Chinese/Cantonese restaurant. It all leant itself to a cooling effect.
The rest of the photos are of the décor and interesting artefacts they had on display
This one wall was dedicated to shelves of food products in jars. Who knows what the items were, I could make out fungus, pasta, insects, and the rest? Unknown.
Lovely Asian vases, jugs and bowls. Now these I’d loved to have taken home. Beautiful.
Me drinking coconut juice straight from a young coconut. Mum and I wanted to try it, and now we can say we have. And don’t need to again. Not a fan of the gelatinous coconut that slides up the straw if you poke too deeply. As we sat and chatted we watched a number of other customers come in and out and the myriad of menu items leaving the kitchen boggled my mind. If I’d had enough nous about me I would’ve asked other diners if I could take photo’s of their food. But that’s a bit rude right? One table ordered the Peking Duck pancakes, and they looked superb. Carved up and served at the table, crispy, glistening duck bought out on a steam trolley, it was a sight to behold.
Anyway, would I recommend you visit the Seafood Restaurant in Kuta and try everything we did? Benar-Benar.